ENEMIES by Robin Klein


Email this review


Australian author Klein has a gift for exploring youthful friendships and enmities, as in the well-received Hating Alison Ashley (1987); in this brief, pungent story, a weekend together transforms the longstanding animosity between two ten-year-olds. Mary-Anna and Sandra are in the same class; worse, their mothers work together and are best friends. The two girls bicker like siblings, indulging in unmerciful teasing. Both are incensed when Mary-Anna is left at Sandra's house while Mary-Anna's parents go to a distant wedding. Partly as a result of Sandra's obnoxious sulking, they are separated from her mother on a trip to the city; this frightening experience--along with their necessarily cooperative effort to extricate themselves from it--finally forces both to recognize their latent friendship. It's not clear why the two girls are so at odds; their mothers seem too sensible to have forced them on each other. Still, young readers should be amused to recognize themselves in Klein's humorous report on their vigorous hostility and its believable resolution.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1989
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Dutton